TAKE THIS: MENTAL HEALTH AND VIDEO GAMES
Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut is out in a week from now! The game is packed with surprises, and it’s not coming alone: we’ve imagined an exclusive Twitch experience to enjoy along! We call it Bottle of Hope and it’s a free app created with the experts from Take This, a North American mental health non-profit organization. We will reveal all the details of the extension just before its March 4th launch, but first things first, we’d like to introduce Take This to you. Here comes Eve Crevoshay, the Executive Director of the organization!
Quantic Dream: Hello Eve! We’re glad to have you sail with us on the sea of solitude! First of all, could you please introduce yourself to those who don’t already know you?
Eve Crevoshay: Yes, hi! As you noted, I lead Take This. I’ve been in the NGO/non-profit world my whole career – aside from my time as a yoga teacher (which I also loved). I came to Take This about 2 ½ years ago because I’ve always cared quite a lot about mental health. It’s a cause that my family has decided to highlight, because, like a lot of us, we have family members battling a range of mental illnesses. I’m always going to do work that helps people and helps make the world a more humane, kinder place. Right now, I couldn’t think of a better place to be than Take This!
QD: What is Take This about and how did this journey began?
Eve Crevoshay: The organization was founded in response to the suicide of an industry colleague in 2012, with the purpose of destigmatizing mental health and talking about it in a way that helps people who make and play games feel comfortable. We started with our “AFK Room” program at US conventions – a quiet and restful place for people to escape the intensity of convention floors – and now also conduct research, provide training, and partner with a number of organizations and industry partners to address longstanding challenges that relate to mental health, like online harassment. But at our core, we simply want to help people understand that it’s totally normal not to be OK.
QD: How did you get to meet Cornelia Geppert (Sea of Solitude Writer/Director and Jo-Mei studio co-founder) and what was the role of Take This on the game?
Eve Crevoshay: I met Connie, as I affectionately know her, at my first E3 in 2018, just after I started at Take This. She was announcing the original Sea of Solitude, and we were both breathlessly experiencing E3 for the first time. Take This had done some consulting on the original game, helping to accurately represent mental health, and we have stayed in touch since then. Just last spring, Sea of Solitude was announced as a finalist for Take This’ second Dr.Mark Award for representation of mental health in a video game. We love the game, and Connie’s infectious enthusiasm!
QD: Take This, Jo-Mei and Quantic Dream joined forces on the Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut “Bottle of Hope” Twitch extension; what made you jump onto the wagon?
Eve Crevoshay: We were delighted to be invited to participate. Opportunities like this, which allow us to give the game community support and affirmation while also enjoying the best of what games have to offer, are just fantastic. Quantic Dream gave us so much flexibility to make sure the extension provided accurate, appropriate messages that will be a benefit to the Sea of Solitude community, for which we are very grateful.
QD: Take This has a great pool of stream partners, and some of them will be playing the game starting next week; what does it take to join your stream team?
Eve Crevoshay: The Take This Streaming Ambassadors are a great group of mental health advocates, and we’re really proud that a few of them will be using the extension. Anyone can apply during our open application periods – we will have one coming up later this spring (watch our website or Twitter for the announcement). We actually hold our ambassadors to a pretty high standard in terms of how they talk about and advocate for accurate mental health information and community support. The application form asks you about your subject knowledge, and how you understand your role as an advocate in the streaming context.
QD: What advice would you give to any gamer who wants to start streaming?
Eve Crevoshay: Oh wow – this is a funny question to ask me since I just did my first stream recently! But, I will say this, which I would say for almost any new endeavour, especially a creative one: be yourself. It was actually great advice I got from one of my colleagues, Dr. B, who encouraged me to let my curiosity and fun side show during the stream. It made me more comfortable, and helped the audience connect with me because I was more relaxed.
Well thank you Eve! You will all get to discover Take This’ work on the Bottle of Hope Twitch extension next week, during the Sea of Solitude: The Director’s Cut Quantic Stream. You can follow Take This on Twitter here, as well as Sea of Solitude here! And don’t forget to tune in on the Quantic Dream official Twitch channel next Thursday, 11am PST!